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‘Hotel Victoria’ at Edesche Concertzaal 23 April 2016

‘Hotel Victoria’ at Edesche Concertzaal 23 April 2016
Carel Kraayenhof (bij vleugel)
Hotel Victoria
The nomadic lifestyle of artists was the inspiration for a new album: ‘Hotel Victoria’. Kraayenhof: “There are nice aspects about travelling, but people often don’t realize that about 80% of life of a musician consists of travelling and rehearsing. We go from city to city, at times I compare ourselves to sailors. The actual concert is often just a piece of the puzzle, exactly the piece which is, for the audience, an evening out. Grab a bite to eat or a drink before or after the concert… it is actually better that they don’t even realize that. For the musicians it is a strange combination of passion, work and hobby; that is the life of an artist.” During these travel times, the hotel is often their second home. On this new album Kraayenhof also makes an ode to his mother. “Nowadays she is kind of a bed & breakfast for me. When I have to play in the south of country I say over at her place, and then she joins me to the concerts”.
Love at first sound
The eight-year-old Carel had no idea about ‘the life of a sailor’. At that age he discovered music. “When I was eight years old I started to take piano lessons, I used to play a lot of classical music. When I was eighteen and studying philosophy in Amsterdam, my brother introduced me to Scottish and Irish music. I thought it was beautiful! I started to play Folk music and my brother managed to get me to buy a diatonic button accordion. Not much later than that I heard a bandoneón playing on an LP, at a friend’s place. That was love at first sound. I bought my own bandonika and taught myself how to play it.
Drama
But it did not end there. One day, when Carel was playing at the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, an Argentinean man sat right next to him. Kraayenhof remembers: “He thought it was really nice that I was playing that specific instrument, he was going to arrange for me to get a bandoneón from Argentina. I pretty much taught myself how to play the bandoneón. I sat behind the piano, played a key and looked for the same tone on the bandoneón. It is a very rich instrument. You can play accords and melodies on it, I have seen people playing Bach on it, but that is strenuous. Playing the bandoneón is amazing, but it is dramatic to study it. For 15 years I played pretty much only tango, after that I started to play other genres and to compose music myself.” When Kraayenhof met Piazzolla in The Netherlands a special development took place: “He invited me to go to New York, to work at the Broadway production Tango Apasionado. It was fantastic!”
If you have to choose: The Netherlands of Argentina
“That is a difficult one! I probably would not choose to live in Argentina, there I can’t do what I do here. I would have to fly non-stop, everywhere, just to get bread on the table. I would not even have time to compose. A bad crisis weights down over there, politically and economically the country is a disaster. But the climate and the people are warm and they have a kind of social connection that we don’t have here. The neighbors once had an Argentinean girl staying over for some time, she was surprised about our egocentric way of life. Not greeting each other, not giving up your seat at the bus: for her that was unthinkable. That kind of thing I also really miss over here.”
What would you choose: your own work, or the work made by someone else?
“Lately I have been working a lot on my own work, but I also really enjoy music that is already out there. Bernstein for example, he has written amazing music. My parents used to listen to the West Side Story all the time, and if I play that album, I am amazed all over again. During concerts I also play some amazing little pieces which I could never write myself. Everyone writes in a different way! Music connects. It is neutral, a free language where everyone can express themselves spontaneously”.
Do you prefer playing alone or together with someone else?
“Then I choose to play in a duo or with an ensemble. To play the bandoneón solo is nice, but also very complicated. The bandoneón shines brighter when played together with other instruments. I love how it sounds together with a harp or violin for example. I have also composed music for a sextet, this way you can do much more with the different tunes.”
What do you dream about?
“I really enjoy movies and documentaries, and I really would like to compose film music. But yes, I am a self-taught composer and with film music you always have to work with deadlines, you might have to finish a piece in a month for example. I might never be able to do that. And on my next life, I would like to be an actor. An actor lives so many lives at once! I would not take that step now; I have way too much to do in the music. When I hear that someone wrote a book, I am also a bit jealous. But I don’t feel that we, here in The Netherlands, are stimulated enough. Everything has to be so structured. I, for example, really came out of my shell when I was in Argentina. That was an extremely inspiring experience, I wish that for everyone!”
Come listen live to Carel Kraayenhof! Order your tickets to the April 23rd 2016 concert via:
https://tickets.edescheconcertzaal.nl/nl/tickets/380-carel-kraayenhof-bandoneon-en-juan-pablo-dobal-piano-hotel-victoria

Rabobank Amersfoort Jazz festival with Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue

Carel Y Su Sextet
sexteto-2013-hoog

Attention tango dancers and tango lovers! On Sunday afternoon, 14th of June, Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue, our traditional Argentinean tango orchestra, will play on the stage of the Lieve Vrouwkerkhof in Amersfoort.

The concert starts at 16:15 and will end at around 18:00hrs.

This is the start of the outdoor summer concerts in The Netherlands.

4 stars review – Dagblad de Limburger

De Limburger 21 nov 2014
On the 21st of November another great review came out for the CD Liberación. This time at the Dutch newspaper Dagblad de Limburger.

Translation:
CD REVIEW

WORLDMUSIC
Artist: Carel Kraayenhof
Title: Liberación
Record company: Bando Dreams

He will stay forever the musician who brought Maxima to tears. On his new album Liberación, bandoneón player Carel Kraayenhof is going, together with his ensemble, on a search for freedom and happiness. It is pretty much a given that a piece of composer Piazzolla is also present on the CD, the man who lifted the Argentine tango to a form of art.
Kraayenhof himself also signs for a number of compositions. He was inspired by Lampedusa and the African boat refugees who set foot on land in Italy. Ida y Vuelta is an homage to the Jewish writer Ida Vos, who during the Second World War as a young girl who had to go into hiding. Liberación is full of boundless music crying for freedom. Kraayenhof brings the numbers to life with his musicians full of passion and inspiration. Instrumental songs to dream of.

PETER VAN DE BERG

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble gives a concert at the IJsselhallen in Zwolle (The Netherlands)

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This past Saturday (November 15 2014), the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble gave a special ‘Liberación’ concert in Zwolle (The Netherlands) to the Syrian refugees living in the IJsselhallen.

A new 5 star review for Liberación

Trouw 14.11.14 recensie Liberaci
This past weekend Liberación received another 5 star review. This time from the Dutch newspaper TROUW.

Translation:
A powerful statement on the bandoneon

WORLD
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble
Liberacion (Bando Dreams)
*****
__________
The current situation in the world brings engagement back in pop music. Last week Bob Geldof announced his Band Aid project against Ebola, Izaline Calister and Leoni Jansen started their protest song tour ‘Barricade’ and Carel Kraayenhof’s latest album ‘Liberación’ was released. With this the greatest bandoneón player in the world is asking attention for all refugees who, forced by political or economical circumstances, had to leave home and loved ones behind.
‘This is how the tango originated, from the fusion-music of migrants; keeping alive the hope for a better future’, he stated on the CD booklet.
The CD starts with the sound of the sea, the symbol for a connection to freedom as well as a frightening escape route. Titles like ‘Aleppo’ and ‘Lampedusa’ say enough.
Not one instrument is so complex as the bandoneón. It plays rhythm and melody together and possesses a melancholic and resilient character at the same time.
Kraayenhof’s playing – vigorous, sad and tough – reflects in all buttons his powerful statement. Piano and strings surround him comforting and evocative sounds delivering powerful counter play. Even the widely known ‘Libertango’, that for composer Astor Piazzolla symbolized liberation from the traditional tango, now gets a beautiful new arrangement and with that, a new interpretation.
Mr. Geldof, may Kraayenhof also take part at the Band Aid event?

Stan Rijven

5 star review CD Liberación – Noord-Hollands Dagblad

NHD 7 .11.14 CD recensi Liberaci

Today, November 7th, this 5 star review came out about the new CD Liberación at the Noord-Hollands Dagblad newspaper!

Translation:
Classic
Carel Kraayenhof, ‘Liberación’
(Bando Dreams)

One of the reasons why the work of bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof always intrigues, is that his music is never a given. His new CD ‘Liberación’, a tribute to freedom, anticipates a theatre production in which he, together with his magnificent ensemble, combines music and film around the significant theme: men fleeing from violence. The roots of his work are in the tango: exceptionally engaged music, brought to the concert halls by master such as Piazzolla and Pugliese. With beautiful melodies and arrangements he certainly does not renounce that basis.
This is Kraayenhof at his best, moving, comforting and involved in reality.

Hans Visser

CD Liberación review – tango magazine La Cadena

La Cadena nov. 2014

We are happy to read another positive review on the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s new CD Liberación. This one was published on the Dutch tango magazine ‘La Cadena’ (issued on early November 2014)

Translation:

CD REVIEW
By COR GLORIE

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

When the bandoneón starts to play in So Long Island, the first track of Liberación, you immediately hear that it is Carel Kraayenhof who touches the buttons. Is it the timbre of his instrument, his playing idiom, his way of composing, or a combination of these factors? I can’t figure it out, but striking it is.
On this CD Carel takes us on a trip around the world. Of course there are also tangos such as Revirado, El Corte and La Muerte del Angel, but the ensemble is not afraid of travelling to other continents or showing other intentions. What touched me most were the socially inspired numbers such as Cry for Freedom, dedicated to the fighters for equal rights between white and black. In this song a true tormented fight can be heard between bandoneon, piano and strings. Also in Lampedusa a threatening beat visualizes expressively the hardships of the boat fugitives during their struggle for life at sea. But yet Carel’s tango roots appear again in a new arrangement of Libertango. A dynamic ‘yumba’ piano twist pours a delicious “Pugliese sauce” over this Piazzolla classic. If there ever was a struggle between these two celebrities it has now been decided in favor of the tango.

A beautiful review for the CD Liberación at the ‘Antiliaans Dagblad’

ADCuracao 31.10.14 cd Liberacion

This review was posted on the newspaper of 31st of October.

Translation:
Kraayenhof: tribute to freedom
By Giselle Ecury
On 28 October I attended, in Amsterdam, to the official presentation of the new album of bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof and his ensemble. A month ago I met him during Millicent Smeets-Muskus’, better known as ‘Dudi’, book presentation. ‘Curacao is deep in our heart’ he confided to the audience at that time. He confirmed that now as well, by playing ‘Cry for freedom’.
He dedicated this number to Nelson Mandela and Tula, the leader of the slave uprising of 1795 on plantation Knip. Right there the tone was set for the afternoon: Kraayenhof and his ensemble want to stand for equal rights and freedom to everyone. And they do that by making music that touches straight to the heart.
This music comes straight from their hearts, and that you can feel. ‘Liberacion’ lives. Between the lines and the notes I start to understand the message: let’s be grateful for all the good we have in our life and for those who fought for that for us. Once back home I notice a very tender song in the klezmer ‘doina’-tradition, it is a tribute to the mother of violinist Bert Vos. The writer Ida Vos (1931-2006) survived the German occupation, but lost many school friends. This song is called ‘Rumeniher Volekh – Ida y vuelta’.
As a traveling musician Carel lets himself be inspired by the music and the people he encounters. He is deeply touched by the multitudes of refugees, which appear to be unstoppable. By their ways and becoming immigrants in another country, world music arises. When the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble started making this album, two years ago, they didn’t even suspect that the release of it would take place at a moment when the refugee issue is more relevant than ever. The intense number ‘Lampedusa’ – the Italian island which is flooded by refugees from Africa searching for safety – is a proof of this. Just like ‘Aleppo’, a cry out against the warriors who, 100 years after the break out of the First Worldwar, still use chemical weapons causing devastation to the population and entire cities. At the same time it is a tribute to the man in Aleppo who places his piano, every day, among the debris and performs with a little choir. “Because this is the only positive thing we can do in our destroyed city: make music”. So hope prevails; and that you can also hear.
The attentive listening audience was treated with eleven of the eighteen tracks, under which ‘Libertango’, the ‘freedom tango’ (1973), arranged by Kraayenhof in the style of Osvaldo Pugliese; musician, politician and one of the great peacemakers of Argentina.
I think this album is a jewel, a variation of melancholy, nostalgia, tragedy, power and hope. Several times I was carried away, felt like dancing, I wanted to show that nobody can oppress the power of the human spirit. We always recover, especially when we feel united with each other by means of music. Every goodbye is the birth of something new. Carel Kraayenhof (1958) clearly enjoys what he is doing.
This goes for all his musicians: Bert Vos, 1st violinist and partner of also violinist (2nd) Iefke Wang; Juan Pablo Dobal, pianist; Jaap Branderhorst, double bass; and Jan Willem Troost, cello. They all have worked together, frequently and intensively, rehearsing in the Beemster. The result is magnificent. Music is a universal language, which everybody understands and senses. They show that they can spread that language as no one else.
And after coming home, while writing this column, the number ‘So many partings’ touches my soul. It is the number right before ‘Sabrosita’, the Aruban tumba by Rufo Wever, arranged by pianist/composer Randell Corsen. These sounds I can and want to literally take home with me. The next track is ‘Atardi Korsou ta bunita’ by Rudy Plaate, dedicated to Millicent Smeets-Muskus, who the ensemble remembers with bliss and gratitude. It isn’t spelled quite correctly on the cover, but I think that’s actually a bit charming. After all it is the work of men, mistakes are allowed. Like in quilting, not all stitches need to be perfect, because ‘only God makes no mistakes’.
As of the 1st of January this music will be performed in the new theatre show by Carel Kraayenhof and his ensemble: ‘Liberación’. As of the 31st of October the album is for sale. For more information you can visit, and enjoy, the website www.carelkraayenhof.com.

Carel Kraayenhof talks to the Refugee assistance of The Netherlands

On the new CD Liberación, in which Carel worked on for over two years and was released at the end of October, there are many new compositions related to the theme ‘Freedom’. Two of these compositions are ‘Cry for Freedom’ and ‘Aleppo’.
Currently there are important talks being held between Carel Kraayenhof and the refugee assistance in The Netherlands looking into the possibility of Carel and his ensemble giving a concert, in november, to the Syrian refugees which are sheltered at the IJsselhallen in Zwolle. Carel did not have any idea that this could be a possibility two years ago when he started this project. He feels deeply with these people who had to leave everything behind (at times even their own families), fleeing from so much violence in their own country. Carel hopes that his music can bring some healing and distraction to the people.
But the main idea is not just to play a concert, pack up and leave. His dream is to “add something” to the refugees which will remain with them for the long run. Completing the dream is to gather music instruments and distribute them at the refugee camps, so that people who used to play music at home can go on bringing a bit of happiness to the their situation. Should you wish to know more about this, please follow Carel on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send us an email to: liberacion@carelkraayenhof.nl
Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland

Newsletter November Carel Kraayenhof

Dear friends and colleagues,_L4Z0013 ALT_liggend2_klein

After a successful tour in Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire with the Kraayenhof Tango Ensemble we are reaching the last month of 2013.

Through social media we have kept you updated on a daily basis on our school and theater concerts in these three amazing islands.

In our new website you can also read two reviews of our concerts in Curaçao and Bonaire.

Robbert Brantz (webmaster) and Mark Schoots (marketing) worked really hard on our new website during the last few weeks, where now you can also order CD or download them digitally. Our DVD Tango Heroes and the book Het leven in 3 minuten can be ordered. A great tip for the holiday season!?

 

Carel and Thirza together on TV

On November 21st Carel and Thirza will be live on TV for one hour as guests of the program Tijd voor Max, (in The Netherlands shown on channel Nederland 2 at 17:35hrs). To see the program at a later date please visit: https://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/omroepen/max

 

The Koninkrijksconcert (Concert for the Kingdom)

On November 30th a live show will be presented on TV where Carel will play together with the Curaçaoan singer Izaline Calister, accompanied by the Metropole Orkest. This event will celebrate 200 years of Kingdom of The Netherlands.

‘On the 30th of November it will be precisely 200 years since the arrival of Price Willem Frederic took place at the beach of Scheveningnen. Who became later the first king of The Netherlands, This event will be enacted by hundreds of volunteers together with Huub Stapel, the actor who will play the part of the prince. There will be a festive procession towards the National Monument at Plein 1813 and an official ceremony will start at the Ridderzaal. The artistic gala event  at the Circus Theater will close this festive day.

 

Juli Golin, Management Assistant / Tour Manager

Since September 1st Juli Golin has joined our team. Juli has worked previously as our Tour Manager, together with Sylvia Snel from PR3, during our theater tours ‘Tango Heroes’ in 2007/2008 and ‘Compasión’ in 2009. Juli is at least 2 days a week at the office and will be present in most shows as Tour Manager.

 

Update project Jujuy

All bandoneons for the Jujuy project are being repaired and tuned by Oscar Fischer from Buenos Aires (bandoneón tuner, maker and restorer) who is a good friend of Daniel Vedia (bandonen player and teacher from Jujuy). Oscar has been recently in The Netherlands to present his self made bandoneon, the first Argentinean bandoneon!

Carel met with Oscar during his bandoneón reparation workshop given specially for bandoneon players at the Rotterdam’s Conservatorium. Carel is pleasantly surprised with newly made bandoneón. The kickoff brainstorm session has taken place for possible new bandoneóns made specially for children. Making possibilities for the future generations!

 

Public concerts:

29 nov. KTE Goes, concert Cadant Symfonie Orkest www.cadantorkest.nl/

10 dec. Sexteto Canyengue,  Beusichem,  Theater ’t Heerenlogement                                                    www.theaterheerenlogement.nl

12 dec. DUO, Amsterdam, Kapitein Zeppos www.zeppos.nl

For more concerts please check the agenda on our website:  www.carelkraayenhof.nl